Monday, March 12, 2007

How to Create Story

So I spent most of the weekend thinking about the book project I'm starting on March 22. Yes, I'm still writing my first draft of the WIP due March 21, but I like to keep my brain busy.

I find inspiration in the oddest places. For instance, this weekend I read a compendium of children's literature (starting back when kid's books were just readers used by the churches to instill the fear of God into youngsters; the children's book movement is definitely more modernized and secularized now). Yes, I am writing a kid's book next.

I'm shocked to discover that I've missed a whole heck of a lot of British books for kids that never got into my hands as a child.

My mom made sure I read everything when I was a kid. I remember cleaning off entire shelves at the library each week, much to the consternation of the librarians, and reading them all within a few days. Our family were voracious readers and we still are. However, I missed a few gems.

I read the Borrowers, but missed Joan Aiken's The Wolves of Willoughby Chase and Rosemary Harris' The Moon in the Cloud (Ancient Egypt) series. I missed Helen Cresswell's The Piemakers. Also a whole pile of Diana Wynne Jones was missed. I also missed Lionel Davidson's Under Plum Lake.

And there's a whole chapter on British historical fiction for kids that I know I never read. It's disheartening, but almost makes me giddy that I have an entire reading future ahead of me.

But as for my writing, I'm concocting a middle-grade reader series that will be big. This is not a popular or modern take on a fairytale, or a series of high school chick lit soap operas that will fade within a month's time. My story must be historic, an epic, biographical, romantic, and timeless. Other authors have poohed poohed my goal, but alas, Tolkien mocked C.S. Lewis' attempt at Narnia, "bothered" according to his biographer, that Lewis attempted his own project with help from Tolkien.

I want this book to be big, so it is taking a lot of planning and plotting. I am stealing a page from R.L. Stine, Tess Geritsen, Elizabeth George, and Janet Evanovich and I'm outlining fastidiously. I'm reading books on archetypes and mythology and legend. I'm researching to make sure the idea is saleable, but enough of a twist that it excites publishing committees and editorial boards. Let's just say, I'm pinning my hopes on this one.

How's your writing going?

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